British newlyweds die in helicopter crash on holiday in Australia along with ... trends now

British newlyweds die in helicopter crash on holiday in Australia along with ... trends now
British newlyweds die in helicopter crash on holiday in Australia along with ... trends now

British newlyweds die in helicopter crash on holiday in Australia along with ... trends now

A newlywed British couple have died in a horrifying helicopter crash along with their Birmingham-born pilot near Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast.

Ron and Diane Hughes, aged 65 and 57 respectively, were two of four people who tragically lost their lives when two helicopters collided mid-air in front of hundreds of horrified tourists on Monday afternoon.

Pilot Ash Jenkinson, 40, who grew up in the West Midlands before moving to Australia and had recently become a father, has been named as the third British victim.

The tragedy has also claimed the life of Australian mother Vanessa Tadros, 36, who was also fatally injured when the aircraft plunged more than 300 metres to the ground after the collision.

Ron and Diane Hughes, pictured here on their wedding day, were two of four people killed in the helicopter crash

Ron and Diane Hughes, pictured here on their wedding day, were two of four people killed in the helicopter crash

Australian mother Vanessa Tadros, pictured here, was the fourth person confirmed to have died in the incident

Australian mother Vanessa Tadros, pictured here, was the fourth person confirmed to have died in the incident

Birmingham-born Ash Jenkinson, pictured here with his family, was described by heartbroken friends as a 'top gun'

Birmingham-born Ash Jenkinson, pictured here with his family, was described by heartbroken friends as a 'top gun'

Workers lift one of the damaged helicopters out of the water after the crash on Australia's Gold Coast on Monday

Workers lift one of the damaged helicopters out of the water after the crash on Australia's Gold Coast on Monday

A worker attaches a winch to the rotor blades of one of the helicopters on Tuesday morning

A worker attaches a winch to the rotor blades of one of the helicopters on Tuesday morning

Members of the air ambulance air lifted a child to hospital following the crash on Monday afternoon

Members of the air ambulance air lifted a child to hospital following the crash on Monday afternoon

Mr and Mrs Hughes, who hail from Merseyside, tied the knot in August 2021 and had been on holiday in Australia at the time of the crash.

They are believed to be related to Mrs Tadros, who had boarded the aircraft with her son Nicholas. 

The 10-year-old was pulled from the wreckage and rushed to hospital with serious injuries, where family members, including his father who saw the crash happen from the ground, remain by his bedside.

Two other people on board - a nine-year-old boy and 33-year-old woman - were also hospitalised after the helicopter landed upside down on a sandbank.

Of the six occupants in the other helicopter, five suffered minor injuries while one left the scene unscathed. 

Initial investigations indicate the crash occurred around 2pm (4am GMT) when one helicopter was landing and another was taking off.

The pilot of the other helicopter was able to perform a controlled landing, despite the injuries to those onboard after the cockpit was smashed in by the collision.

Government investigators are now scouring through footage and the wreckage of the aircraft to determine how the pilots failed to see each other before the crash.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon at near Sea World, although the helicopters are operated by a separate company to the resort.

Mr Jenkinson was behind the controls of a helicopter that had picked up tourists for a pleasure ride over the picturesque coastal region.

The 40-year-old had welcomed a son, Kayden, in September 2021, with his wife, Kosha.

One of his friends paid tribute to the pilot, calling him a 'top guy, top gun and best dad'.

Ritchie Gregg said: 'I heard [about the crash] at ten past two. So I sent the message and was waiting for an answer.

'When he and Kosha had their son (in September 2021) he was the most excited dad. (Kosha) is very silent, she's in shock Kayden… would probably be asking where dad is.

He added that 'family was his biggest thing' and he had just got married to Kosha in October. 

Mr Gregg said: 'Ash had the biggest heart and was the happiest guy. When he'd finished work flying he'd be straight home to see his boy.'

The names of passengers killed in the crash have not yet been released by police, but acting inspector Mike Campbell told reporters the British tourists are 'we believe husband and wife with a next-of-kin local'.

The incident happened on Australia's Gold Coast, close to the city of Brisbane, in Queensland

The incident happened on Australia's Gold Coast, close to the city of Brisbane, in Queensland

Wreckage of two helicopters that crashed near Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast on Monday

Wreckage of two helicopters that crashed near Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast on Monday

Mr Jenkinson, pictured here with his wife Kosha, was the pilot of one of the helicopters and died after it crashed

Mr Jenkinson, pictured here with his wife Kosha, was the pilot of one of the helicopters and died after it crashed 

Video footage from the moments before the crash shows the two helicopters converging on each other, with horrified witnesses shouting 'no!' upon realising they will collide.

One family described seeing 'the pilot and two elderly people in the front, a lady and a little boy next to her in the back, and another person next to them' get on board the aircraft before the crash.

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